Advising and Student Services
It is a goal in CALS to help students be academically and personally successful, on campus and beyond. CALS professionals help students navigate their UW–Madison educational experience by offering advising, professional development and other services to enhance students’ overall experiences.
As the academic dean’s office for CALS, the Office of Academic Affairs assists all CALS and CALS-interested students with questions or concerns about academics, major exploration, careers, scholarships, study abroad or other areas of student life. Individual advising is tailored to fit students’ specific needs and circumstances.
Academic advising is an integral part of any student’s journey at UW–Madison. In CALS, each student will work with a professional advisor who is an expert in planning and navigating their academic area of study. Advisors in CALS majors are caring staff who center their work on the student experience and are here to support student success. Faculty often contribute to advising in a mentoring role.
You have goals, and we help you get there. With an education from CALS, you can be confident you will graduate ready for success in numerous industries. Dedicated staff will help you connect the dots from college to career with guidance and resources to support your drive to succeed as you explore potential career paths, gain valuable experiences, develop skills and secure your first job or graduate school offer. Faculty and other professionals also serve as mentors to assist students in their areas of expertise.
Dean on Call
Any CALS student needing assistance is welcome to meet with a Dean On Call, a drop-in service that provides the opportunity for all CALS students to have a one-on-one session with an academic affairs professional to discuss an academic policy or problem, seek advice about a personal issue or receive assistance when confronted with a special situation.
Did you know?
CALS students have an advisor in their chosen field from day one
CALS respondents agree or strongly agree that their college experience prepared them for the next step in their career path
CALS recent graduates are furthering their eduction in graduate or professional schools
How and when do I get an academic advisor?
You will be assigned an academic advisor in your major on day one. If you are not sure what major to pursue, no problem. You will be assigned a college professional to help you explore CALS academic offerings and work towards declaring a major, while taking courses to make progress towards your degree.
How do I declare a major?
For incoming students, part of Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) will be academic advising, in which you will talk with academic advisors to learn more about requirements, enroll in fall courses and choose a major (including the option to remain undeclared if you are exploring).
Who can help me with issues beyond academics?
The CALS Academic Affairs Office, dean on call and your academic advisor are available to help you with issues and assistance beyond academic questions. They are also great resources to connect you with others when needed. The UW-Madison Dean of Students Office also is available to assist students with many situations. Students should seek assistance where they are most comfortable.
What if I am not sure which major to choose?
Not certain what you want to major in but know you have an interest for the life sciences or agricultural sciences? We encourage you to come to CALS and explore your options with us. As an incoming student in CALS you can explore our majors as an “undeclared” student. You will be assigned an advisor who specializes in working with students who are narrowing down their interests on their way to declaring a major. In your first semesters, you can complete courses to make progress towards your degree in any CALS major while taking courses to determine where your passions lie.
What if I want to change my major after I declared?
Changing majors, especially if you are changing from one CALS major to another, is a relatively straightforward process. We want all students to find the right fit for them, even if that takes more than one try. The exact process to change your major will depend on what major you want to move into (a CALS major versus a major elsewhere at UW–Madison), but your academic advisor or Academic Affairs staff are here to assist you with the actual change as well as exploration to help you find the right major to meet your goals.
We are here to help you make the most of your education experience.
Academics General Contact
Office of Academic Affairs
116 Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706
Office Hours: 7:45am – 4:30pm
For current & prospective student general inquiries: